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Nonprofits, Start Your Engines…It’s GivingTuesday!

Three Last-Minute Tips for Any Nonprofit

Ready to race toward your year-end fundraising goals? Whether you're on track or panicking, we've got three tips any organization can use today!

Nonprofits, Start Your Engines…It’s GivingTuesday!

It’s here! The official kickoff to the most amazing, stressful, successful fundraising season ever. Whether you’re staring down a huge annual fundraising goal or just hoping to capitalize on a traditionally generous time of year, it’s go-time for year-end giving.

You might be cheerfully whistling as you execute your perfectly planned campaign or you might be in the throes of panic wondering if you’ve missed your chance. No matter where you are, we’ve got you covered with three things any nonprofit can do right now to amp up that giving, on Tuesday and every other day of the week.

We know you’re busy, so let’s get right to the point.

Tip #1: Create a sense of urgency.

Whether you are reaching out via email, phone, SMS, or social media, join the chorus of nonprofits capitalizing on this day. Announce that it’s GivingTuesday and share your story. Share your goal. Talk and talk and talk about how today is the one day donations will count in the GivingTuesday totals (which, last year, shattered records at $3.1 billion). You want your donors to feel the excitement and give them the opportunity to be part of it.

How do you create a sense of urgency? Phrases like “Donate Now to Double Your Impact” work if you have a matching gift program in place. “Don’t miss your chance to make a difference!” works too. Talk about how, whatever your mission is, there are people or animals or organizations counting on donor support.

Plop a thermometer on your website with a fundraising goal at the top. Blanket social media with updates and impact stories. Highlight donors in real time, thanking them publicly and showcasing their support. Livestream on the social media platform with your biggest reach (your nonprofit CRM can help with this) and let donors and prospective supporters see you talking about the difference their donations will make. Create a social media challenge and let donors share their support! An air of excitement and joy will be contagious and effective.

Tip #2: Be responsive and personal.

Think transparency and engagement. If someone replies to an email, answer them. Monitor social media and engage obsessively with supporters. Acknowledge comments, thank donors, and answer questions.

Use email automation to thank a donor with a heartfelt email instantly. Ensure your website offers a clear call-to-action to contact your staff with questions or comments.

Consider the power of a handwritten thank-you note for special donations. Big donations, of course, but what about the woman who hasn’t donated in a while and then reappears? A thoughtful note would go far in strengthening that donor relationship.

What do you know about the typical donor journey? Have you looked in your CRM to segment your donors, based on age or demographics or stages of the donor journey? This type of information is worth more than gold as it allows you to personalize your donor communications. Personalized, responsive outreach is the foundation of solid engagement.

Plan a survey—it can be a quick three-response question on social media, even on GivingTuesday, or an email that’s sent to your donors.

Have members of your team pick up the phone and call donors, whether it’s those who give often (“Thank you!”) or those who don’t (“Just checking in to share what we’ve been doing!”). If your supporters tend to be younger, send an impactful SMS text.

Treat your donors like your friends and let them see the human beings behind your lofty mission. Being responsive and personalizing your outreach, especially on a big giving holiday, will always result in better donor relations.

Tip #3: Make it easy for people to donate.

Yes, we can get technical and talk about frictionless giving and digital wallets, because those do make giving easy. And those are some big reasons our clients love having CharityEngine as their payment processor. But if you’re not a client, you need some things you can do right now to make giving super simple.

Start with checking on your call to action, otherwise known as the donate button, to make sure it’s clear and stands out. And, as a tip, it can say more than donate! It can say, “Donate now to save the mountain gorillas from extinction!” It’s a great spot to reinforce your mission.

While you’re looking at your donation page, take a fresh look: Is it cluttered? Too much text or competing photos or graphics? Those are quick fixes that will make your donation form more enticing. Here are some tips and a free worksheet that can help you optimize your donation form, and many of these tips are tweaks you can make right now to increase donations.

Have every outreach effort, even a social media post, lead back to your donation page. Send all traffic to it, even if you’re sending an email or making a phone call. Showing even casual supporters right to the page where they can make a difference can greatly increase conversions!

Then Get Ready for The Rest of The Year!

Did these three tips help? We’ve got a laundry list of ideas in this comprehensive guide to year-end giving, so give that a read once you make it through GivingTuesday.

Importantly, take a deep breath. If your mind is spinning with things you wish you had done or you’re hoping you have time to implement, just make a note and realize there’s always next year or the next campaign.

Use your CRM to get data on all your efforts as you progress through the next month and few days. Understanding what works on which segments will help you focus your future efforts even more.

If you’re looking for a partner to walk you through all the best tips to maximize giving year-round, give us a call. Happy fundraising!